At a glance, members of the Hilliard City Schools Board of Education could see the past, present and future of the district.

At a glance, members of the Hilliard City Schools Board of Education could see the past, present and future of the district.

Tim Hamilton, assistant superintendent, distributed a five-page District Vision Plan to four board members attending a two-day retreat on June 17 and 18.

Board member Dave Lundregan was not in attendance at the retreat, which was held in the annex.

Hamilton said they first started handing out the District Vision Plan in 2000.

"We tried to keep a compilation of all the different departments," he said, referring to the operations department which is responsible for maintaining it. "It is something we will keep in front of you from year to year."

The document is color-coded to easily determine what has occurred since 2000, the current status of the district and to offer insight into 2020.

The farther in the future the plan goes, the vaguer the details.

"For those new to the process, it is a really nice, historical piece," said Superintendent Dale McVey.

The original thinking was that they could create one source where anyone could find a lot of different information about the district.

"I think it is probably even more than what we had originally envisioned," said McVey.

He said he finds himself referring to the progress of school funding and biennial budgets.

"What is the track record of the state and how has it impacted us?" he asked. "Those are the areas I still think need to be updated. It is a document that seems to be a work-in-progress."

Hamilton referred to the plan as a "snapshot" of the district.

"We don't have everything quite as current as we will," said McVey, "but still, for the most part, it is a pretty accurate reflection of our past, present and future."

Denise Bobbitt and Doug Maggied were on the board at the time that the District Vision Plan was unveiled.

At that time, McVey said, it was a 10-year-plan.

With each year, the administrators have tried to look farther into the future. "Now we are looking at a 20-year piece," he said.

Hamilton said it is fun to look back on some of the events of the past.

The construction of two new elementary schools and a sixth-grade building, along with renovation of the third middle school, occurred in 2000-01.

At that time the district staffing needs were at 1,435.84, while revenues were at $92,162,000 and expenditures at $86,692,000.

The following year the two new elementary schools and the sixth grade building opened as did the middle school which was under renovations.

In that same year, Bobbitt was elected to the board and a redistricting plan implemented.

Maggied returned to the board in 2003-04.

A community survey was conducted in February 2005.

Closed enrollment occurred at Darby High School and J.W. Reason and Darby Creek elementary schools in 2005-06, while a study of split sessions proved to be a possibility.

Construction began on Washington Elementary and Bradley High School.

Bobbitt was reelected to the board and joined by Andy Teater and Cheryl Ryan.

Ryan later left the board and was replaced with the appointment of Lisa Whiting in 2007-08. Lundregan was elected to the board and Maggied re-elected in that same year.

In 2007-08 the total enrollment was 15,110 while construction of a third high school continues.

Because of the failure of a March 2008 operating levy, a reduction of $4.5-million affected the staff, programming and budgets of the district.

In the coming year, an operating levy will again appear on the ballot.

Bradley High School is expected to open in 2009-2010.

While they may not know much about the year 2020 yet, the plan shows that two new board members will be voted into office and negotiations will take place with the Hilliard Education Association and the Ohio Association of Public School Employees unions.

Throughout the retreat, the underlying theme of a future levy, its millage and needed programming recurred. "We have a history of being accountable financially," said Bobbitt.

Whiting said that the overview of the district during the retreat was beneficial to her. "It is amazing the things that we do," she said.

Whiting pointed out that while the district is the ninth-largest in the state and has a large, diverse population, that it is still doing well on the report card. "We are moving forward even in light of all this other stuff," she said. "We need to do as much as we can to protect that."